College during a pandemic is much different than the typical college experience. When one leaves home and heads off to college, they usually find freedom and independence in doing so. However, this year Colgate students began this chapter of their lives with a two-week quarantine, stripped of all of the things that usually define one’s college experience. For first-years, these changes are especially difficult, as their first weeks of college are usually full of meeting lots of new friends, exploring campus, and joining different clubs. Unfortunately this year, this will all have to wait. For now, these first-years and the rest of the student body alike will have to get used to a new version of Colgate, where the things that usually make college college, have now been replaced with some COVID-friendly alternatives.
1. Parties have been replaced with recess.
2:30-4:30pm on a Saturday is no longer reserved for Fraturday… nowadays at this time you will find dozens of students convening on the Academic Quad or in Andy Kerr Stadium running around, going for a power walk, throwing a football around, or playing Spikeball. Claustrophobic crowds have been replaced with people getting no closer to one another than six feet apart. It’s honestly kind of funny to see a bunch of college-aged adults running around like elementary school kids. I’m sure most of us never thought we would get to experience scheduled recess again.
2. Dinners at Frank have been replaced with boxed lunches picked up from the laundry room.
Forget “Late Night Frank.” Now you’re only getting meals between 11:00am and 6:00pm and they are to be eaten alone in your dorm room. No more eating french fries to the point of no return… self-service is a thing of the past. Fresh eggs from the Omelette Station? Nope. You’ll receive your breakfast at the same time as your lunch and it’s to be refrigerated until the next morning. Your mealtime is now nothing but a TikTok trend thanks to #nyuquarantinemeals.
3. You don’t have to fear your professor mistaking your accidental eye contact with you having the answer to their question… you’re safe from them from behind your computer screen.
Never again will your professor peer over your shoulder to check your progress on answering the prompt. Cold-calling just got a lot less scary when you can now mute yourself and turn off your camera to avoid having to show your face after you give the wrong answer. The tears that you cry when you reach an exam question that you have no business knowing the answer to will not be seen - your whimpers will not be heard. So just sit back, relax, and show up to class in your pajamas because the only thing people can see is your head anyways.
4. Have an upcoming quiz stressing you out? Well now the pimples that come as a result don’t have to stress you out even more - you have to cover it up with a face mask!
It’s honestly kind of nice to know that you can leave your room and not have to worry at all about the current state of your skin and doing makeup is basically a waste of time because your mask will rub it all off. That drool you get on the side of your mouth after a good night of sleep (...TMI)? Don’t even have to wipe it off. Masks keep you and others safe from Coronavirus, but they also have an added bonus of covering up pesky breakouts.
College is definitely much different now than it would be in other years. While many see this year as a loss, I think we can also look at it with a more positive attitude. This year is something that all of us are going through together and every difficult situation that we endure makes us stronger as a community. With all of these changes, we can always find little pockets of light in this new way of life, such as getting to have recess again. We are lucky to have this opportunity to be on campus!